Tag Archives: 3 stars

Skinned by Robin Wasserman

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Skinned by Robin Wasserman

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: September 9th 2008

Pages: 361

Young Adult – Science Fiction/Dystopian

Rating: 3 stars

Summary: “The Download was supposed to change the world. It was supposed to mean the end of aging the end of death, the birth of a new humanity. But it wasn’t supposed to happen to someone like Lia Kahn.

And it wasn’t supposed to ruin her life.

Lia knows she should be grateful she didn’t die in the accident. The Download saved her–but it also changed her, forever. She can deal with being a freak. She can deal with the fear in her parents’ eyes and the way her boyfriend flinches at her touch. But she can’t deal with what she knows, deep down, every time she forces herself to look in the mirror: She’s not the same person she used to be.

Maybe she’s not even a person at all.”

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Expectation: I really wasn’t expecting anything, because I didn’t know much about the book and I had never read a Robin Wasserman book before, but I was hopeful.

My Thoughts: The beginning was a bit confusing, but then for the most part Lia’s condition made sense. World building…I was a bit confused on how the society worked. I would have liked a bit more back story concerning the faither’s. I felt like that part of the plot died off. The pacing was fine, I felt like it could have moved a bit faster but it wasn’t too slow. With Lia going through what she does, looking at her life, and trying to find herself, it makes you look at your own life. Makes you think about whats important and what it’s like to be human. The romance wasn’t really the focal point of the book and I liked that. The ending wasn’t necessarily surprising but it was kind of sad, and I like when there is a sort of sad element to an ending. Not all endings are happy. It seems a bit more realistic that way.

I prefer the original covers, or the covers that when you put them together make a body, although that set had different names. I’m not sure why. Not to self: Look into the other covers. If anyone knows feel free to let me know. I feel like the cover (the one at the top of the review) doesn’t match up to what’s inside of it. Overall I’m giving the book three stars. I enjoyed it and I will most likely continue the series.

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Author Info: Website / Twitter / Buy from B&N

“I’m the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the forthcoming Book of Blood and Shadow. I’m also a crazed Stephen King fan and David Foster Wallace evangelist with an embarrassing list of Important Books I’ve Never Read But Can Bluff About Well Enough to Discuss at Cocktail Parties. I’m working on it.” – GoodReads

Series: Skinned #1 Crashed #2 Wired #3

Other Books By Author: Awakening Chasing Yesterday #1 Lust Seven Deadly Sins #1 and more…

Format: Hardback, from PaperbackSwap

For People Who Like: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Family Drama, Robotic Themes, Teen Drama, Glasses, Adrenaline Rushes, and the list goes on…

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Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould (ARE)

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Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
Standalone Novel
Pages: 262
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: March 13, 2012
YA Novel
Format: Ebook courtesy of NetGalley
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“Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.”
 

While, I enjoy historical fiction, it is not my favorite genre. I did however enjoy this book. The characters for the most part were nice, the only person that really got under my skin was Laura’s father. I will never understand people who put status and money before family. (I will not go to much into it for fear of spoiling anything) Laura is a bit naive when it comes to certain things.

 

I very much enjoyed the plot of this book. The opening sentence just begins a wonderfully descriptive historical fiction novel. I feel like the synopsis only scratches the surface of the amount of drama and all that goes on in the novel. The setback for me is that the storyline for the love interest is expected. I’m not sure how I felt about the love interest and I was feeling some insta-love along throughout the story, but maybe that’s just how I perceived it. The villain however I felt was nicely introduced.

Cover= Love! I love the cover with The face mask is beautiful, just with her not having a neck it throws off the bottom half of the cover.

I am giving this book a three star rating but will be recommending it for those who enjoy historical fiction novels.

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

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Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Young Adult – Stand Alone

245 Pages

3 Stars

Published March 17th 2009 by Pocket Books/MTV Books

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought

“HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….”

My first book by Jennifer Echols, I enjoyed it more than I expected. The cover looked like other Young Adult contemporary novels, but I did enjoy this novel.

Meg’s angst is really explained towards the end of the book and I was surprised. (which doesn’t happen often) I love that she had blue hair, why? I have no idea. I really felt for Meg, but I also felt for John (another surprise twist, although I guessed that part.) He overall was a nice character as well, Makes me want to find myself a copper. ;] As for side characters, they worked for the story. Tiffany made me laugh sometimes, and I really just wanted to smack Eric, but then again so did people in the book.

The pacing in the book was fine, I wish it moved a bit faster but it wasn’t too terribly bad. The last 50 or so pages were a nice pace and I read the last 100 pages in an afternoon, I couldn’t put it down. Things were heating up and attitudes were flaring. And then it ended and I was relieved the way it ended.

Overall as I said in the beginning I enjoyed the book. I mean cops, parties, blue haired girls, jealousy and more packed into a 245 page book, what more do you want? I give this book a three, if you are into contemporary and have not read it yet then I suggest you pick it up.

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (ARE)

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The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Hardcover, 400 pages

Expected publication: January 10th 2012

“St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe’s royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina’s strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar’s standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina’s help to safeguard Russia, even if he’s repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?”

 

Robin Bridges debut novel, it is such a complex novel. Boarding Schools, Royal Dances, Tons of royal titles, Necromancy, Zombies, Vampires, and more Paranormal things work their way into the plot. While it was nice to see all of these things come together, at times it was also a little confusing. The pace did move nicely and things kept building, but there were a few slow spots but the end result is well worth it. I had not read a Russian placed book yet and this is wonderfully set.

 

I enjoyed most of the characters in this book, Katerina was a good main character but as with anyone there are flaws. I liked alot that she would stand up for going to medical school, that determination was nice to see in a main character and then in places she would be incredibly naive and be very well…17. Overall I enjoyed her character and she worked well for the story. Along with Katerina I enjoyed Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, his character was dark and secretive but sweet in his own way. Prince Danilo I felt only had about three emotions. Anger, Possessiveness and “love”. But in this case it worked for him, but as any other character I don’t think it would have worked. The love triangle worked in this book. Thankfully Katerina did not suffer from love at first sight. The relationship built over time and worked out nicely. Katerina’s mother on the other hand, I felt didn’t really go anywhere or do anything. She was just there to nag Katerina about getting married, but her father I loved. He was there to support her no matter what she wanted to do even though he didn’t want her moving away he just wanted her to be happy and it in a way complimented her mother. The family as a whole worked well.

 

Now for the cover, I don’t think it really lived up to the excitement that is inside the book. I tend to be picky when it comes to covers and I feel that this is rather bland. It’s not awful, but it’s not wonderful.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, once you understand the history and get past all the fancy titles it is a good read. I give this a three out of five and plan to continue the series. Nice first novel Robin Bridges.

On Sale January 10th!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Hardcover, 471 pages

Published October 1st 2008 by Harcourt Children’s Books

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

So, to start off. I loved the storyline and the world that Cashore created. However, I felt that it was missing something. I loved the seven kingdoms, and the idea of Graces and the whole two colored eye aspect..but I don’t know. I wish certain things were explained a little more at parts.  I think Cashore made the book a bit to ‘anti men’, anything girly or related to marriage is bad. It didn’t bother me to much because I love the storyline but it was noticeable. I liked Po’s character, I feel like he grew with Katsa. The relationship was a bit to abrupt but that happens sometimes. I’m not sure how I felt about Bitterblue, she was just there. The “villian” only presented himself twice in the book, and when he did it was brief. I wish the confrontation had been a bit different…maybe even more dramatic, or detailed and explained. Something.

I loved the ending, and I won’t spoil anything so you will have to read the book to know what I’m talking about. The pace of the book was good and sometimes fair. It is a good first novel, and I liked the language but sometimes I felt like the character wasn’t in character. Or not as much of the language during one chapter as in the next. Maybe it was just me.

 I like the cover but I wouldn’t say that I love it. (I tend to be picky when it comes to covers.)

I picked this book up at the library, I had no idea what the book was about and I hadn’t read any reviews so I wasn’t expecting anything. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know anything about this book. I don’t think I would have liked it as much if I had high hopes for it going into it. I really do like this book and I will be continuing with the series. I give this book a 3 out of 5.

“KRISTIN CASHORE has written for The Horn Book Guide, The Looking Glass: An Online Children’s Literature Journal, and Children’s Literature in Education. She received a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College. Graceling is Ms.Cashore’s first novel. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.” – B&N

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms #1)   byKristin Cashore
Fire (The Seven Kingdoms #2)   byKristin Cashore
Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms #3)  by Kristin Cashore

Abandon by Meg Cabot

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Hardcover, 304 pages

Published April 26th 2011 by Point

“Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back. 

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid. 

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away… especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most. 

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.”

My Thoughts.
First off, I need to say that I love mythology. From any area of the world but especially Greek and Roman. I’ve seen a lot of story re-tellings lately but this is the first one I’ve read. I liked it, as with every book some things get on my nerves a bit. But with this one it wasn’t too bad, or enough annoyance that I had to put the book down.

Before I get into the plot and characters, I love this cover. Normally people on covers bother me (Unless they are done really well) but I like the floral sort of design on the cover. I think the idea of quoting on each chapter was nice but sometimes the chapter had nothing to do with what was actually in the chapter. As well as on the cover, the floral like design was on the first page of every chapter as well and that was a nice touch.

The characters…Pierce who obviously is the main character, I felt like she did not really develop, and at times was rather whiny but that’s okay. John on the other hand is a fictional hunk of man candy. But all joking aside I do think that he could have been a little bit more explained and developed than he was. All the side characters were each only briefly in the story. You had the typical prep group, the two outsiders. But you never really got to know who that character was. I felt like for a 300 page novel it could have gone a lot farther.

I love mythology as I said, and the storyline was interesting. Persephone and Hades and their oddball relationship. (I’ve always loved Persephone) The relationship between Pierce and John was nothing and then everything in about two seconds. It could have been built up gradually, not just BAM! I love youuuu. I’m really trying not to nit pick this book but I tend to over analyse things sometimes. I did enjoy this book. I love the plot direction, and I love John as a character, I want to know more about him. I will be continuing this series, Meg Cabot made the story sort of become her own. She added some differences from the original story and I enjoyed it. This was my first Meg Cabot book and will not be my last. 3 Stars.

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2)
The second book in the Abandon Trilogy. Be sure to check out these books.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

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The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1) The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Hardcover, 336 pages

Published March 16th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published February 15th 2010)

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.”

 My Thoughts on the Book.
The Body Finder…I liked this book. I think it was a good debut novel for Derting. I liked the storyline and I liked the idea of “echoes.” I thought it was fascinating and it made me want to keep reading, I have never read anything like it. The story moved at a good pace and I finished it fairly quickly and I found it an easy read.

Girls keep dissapearing, their bodies keep being found, and Violet is in the middle of it. She feels like she has to help find the killer, but the killer wants to find her. And while all this mysterious-ness is going on. Violet must deal with her feelings for Jay, her best friend. Who came back from summer, he’s different. He has a deeper voice and he has grown into his body, and Violet isn’t the only one who has noticed. All the girls around school have been noticing Jay, and it makes Violet crazy, but she won’t let on to it. Between the murders and her feelings for Jay, and sensing the dead. Violet has alot to figure out…

The story moved at a good pace and I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. I was only slightly surprised at who the killer was, and that was a plus. Normally, I am fairly good at guessing who or what is going to happen in the end. I liked how “echoes” when Violet got them were described, I think they were depicted very well.

Now as for characters, I was kind of iffy on them. Violet annoyed me at some points. I felt like the romance between Violet and Jay was cheesy and a little overdone. Jay also annoyed me at certain parts, he was a little redundant with his sarcasm.

My Rating.
But overall I enjoyed the book, not one I would re-read though. I like the cover alot, I thought it was rather unique like the “echoes.” But the characters fell a little flat for me and the romance was too cheesy. I give this book a 3 out of 5. I’m not sure if I will continue with the series, I think the book ended nicely. There wasn’t a cliffhanger and I think it should have been a stand alone novel.

If anyone has continued and think I should. Leave a comment.

Maze Runner by James Dashner

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Hardcover, 379 pages

Published October 6th 2009 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

“When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.”

 My Thoughts…
This book was recommended by lovers of the Hunger Games series. My hopes were set high for this book. I was looking for the action, the well in depth characters.

Now for the first half of the book, I felt like a beheaded chicken. I had no idea what was going on or how to imagine the place they were living in. (Much like what Thomas felt actually) But towards the middle/end I actually got into the book and the action and the story came alive. (I’m still a little confused on what a griever actually looks like) But I did enjoy the second half of the book and yes, things were definitely explained, and I’m glad that I finished it. 

But…I don’t think I really ever found the characters. I couldn’t really connect with the characters. I kept being told what they felt but I never really “felt” what they felt. I didn’t really connect with any of them. Although I did like Newt for some odd reason. Not so much in the end though, (But that happens sometimes) and I wish that Teresa was into the story more than just in the end. (Although I’m sure she will be in the next book, at least I think so.) I liked Chuck at some parts and other parts he was kind of annoying, although so was Thomas.

I liked the “world” that was created in the maze and how everyone had a part to play, or else chaos would erupt. And after awhile once they arrived from “the box” they got into the routine and the hang of the language/lingo. Now, the language was another thing was bizarre yet strangely worked. At first, I really couldn’t get over the language. But in the end you kind of grow used to it, as the Gladers do.

For those who haven’t read the book, (It may be slow in the beginning, but keep going) or are skeptical about finishing it. Finish it, it makes sense in the end, at least to the main questions and it does make you want to keep reading and know the whole story behind the Trials and the Maze. I give this book a 3. While I felt it had it’s flaws, as every book does. I did enjoy the book. If your looking for action like in the Hunger Games, then yes I recommend it.


Watch the Trailer:Maze Runner Book Trailer
Buy This Book: B&N
More On Author: James Dashner